We hoped that when the 16-inch MacBook Pro was launched, an improve to the 13-inch MacE-book Pro would shortly observe. But it didn’t. Then Apple upgraded the MacBook Air, after which we thought that absolutely a brand new 13-inch MacE-book Pro was imminent.
Over a month after the MacE-book Air replace, the much-anticipated new 13-inch MacE-book Pro lastly dropped. The new fashions function new CPUs, sooner RAM, and new GPUs to spice up its pace, and the brand new Magic Keyboard will convey again prospects who determined to keep away from the model of the laptop computer with a butterfly keyboard.
If you at present have a high-end 13-inch MacE-book Pro that you simply purchased throughout the previous 4 years, you would possibly take into account sticking with that laptop computer a short time longer. While you’ll see good pace good points with the brand new MacE-book Pro, it could be arduous to justify the fee proper now. Unless you actually, actually need to eliminate the laptop computer due to the butterfly keyboard and change a painful typing expertise for a extra nice one.
This evaluation takes a take a look at the $1,799 customary configuration of the 13-inch MacE-book Pro, which has a 2.0GHz quad-core Core i5 processor, 16GB of reminiscence, Intel Iris Pro Graphics, and a 512GB SSD. The $1,999 mannequin is identical besides with a 1TB SSD. Apple’s $1,299 and $1,499 variations have the identical eighth-generation 1.4GHz quad-core Core i5 processors as they did after they have been launched final yr, however they now have the Magic Keyboard and double the SSD capability.
RIP, butterfly keyboard
With the discharge of the 16-inch MacE-book Pro again in November of 2019, Apple began phasing out its much-maligned butterfly-mechanism keyboard in favor of its new Magic Keyboard, which makes use of a scissor-switch mechanism. The MacE-book Air adopted go well with when it was up to date in March 2020, leaving the 13-inch MacE-book Pro as the one laptop computer left with the butterfly keyboard.
With this replace, the butterfly keyboard farewell tour is now full. It’s now fully gone from Apple’s laptop computer lineup and it gained’t be missed (although Apple does insist that the butterfly keyboard had its followers). Our desire for the brand new Magic Keyboard was documented in our opinions of the 16-inch MacBook Pro and the most recent MacBook Air, and the implementation within the 13-inch MacE-book Pro simply reinforces what we like about it.
The butterfly keyboard was arduous on the fingers, loud, and so unreliable that Apple needed to begin a Keyboard Service Program for it. The new Magic Keyboard is far simpler on the fingers and the ears—it has a softer, extra comfy really feel, and isn’t as noisy. Time will inform in regard to its reliability, however we haven’t had issues with this laptop computer, the 16-inch MacE-book Pro and the brand new MacE-book Air thus far. That’s a superb signal.
Apple’s Touch Bar is alive and effectively on the 13-inch MacE-book Pro. For the unfamiliar, the Touch Bar is a touchscreen strip on the prime of the keyboard, changing the Function keys you may be used to seeing. The keys that seem on the Touch Bar depend upon the app you’re utilizing. For instance, in case you are in Maps, buttons can seem for getting instructions, looking for a location, marking a location as a favourite, and extra.
The Touch Bar is usually a helpful approach to make use of your Mac, however after years of utilizing Touch Bar-equipped laptops (Touch Bar was launched in 2016), I nonetheless can’t get myself to make use of it regularly. The Touch Bar may be custom-made to your use, so it doesn’t at all times must show app-based choices, however even with that I can’t develop a behavior of utilizing it. I hesitate to say it’s pointless, as a result of I don’t suppose it’s poorly applied. I simply can’t get myself to do not forget that it’s there to make use of for extra than simply F-key capabilities.
Faster CPU and reminiscence, boosted graphics
The new $1,799 and $1,999 13-inch MacE-book Pros function 10th-generation Intel Core processors, and so they change eight-generation processors of their predecessors. The $1,799 and $1,999 laptops each have a 2.0GHz quad-core Core i5 CPU with Turbo Boost as much as 3.8GHz and 6MB L3 cache. The earlier processor was a 2.4GHz quad-core Core i5, however the brand new processor relies on Intel’s Ice Lake microarchitecture that gives higher efficiency, so the older CPU’s greater clock pace doesn’t imply a lot. For an extra $200, you may improve to a 2.3GHz quad-core Core i7 processor, which has Turbo Boost as much as 4.1GHz.
Apple additionally supplies sooner reminiscence within the new 13-inch MacE-book Pro. The 2133MHz LPDDR3 RAM within the earlier laptop computer has been upgraded to 3733MHz LPDDR4X, which ought to assist enhance efficiency. Standard configurations now begin at 16GB of reminiscence; it was once 8GB. And Apple now presents a 32GB improve, which is an extra $400.
Pro customers ought to particularly pay attention to the Intel Iris Plus Graphics within the new laptop computer. You can now join one 6K show (which you couldn’t do earlier than), akin to Apple’s Pro Display XDR, or one 5K show. Or you may join as much as two 4K shows. It’s nonetheless an built-in GPU, and it shares its graphics reminiscence with the Mac’s major reminiscence. According to Apple, the Iris Plus has 33 p.c extra execution items than its predecessor (64 as a substitute of 48), so it’s best to see a noticeable graphics efficiency enchancment.
A number of days in the past we posted our Geekbench 5 results and located a 24 p.c improve in single-core efficiency over the earlier $1,799 2.4GHz quad-core Core i5 MacE-book Pro and the $1,299 1.4GHz quad-core Core i5 mannequin. In multi-core testing, the enhance was 14 p.c. The new MacE-book Pro’s ends in the Metal graphics check have been probably the most spectacular, with a 30 p.c improve by the Iris Plus over the Iris Plus Graphics 645, and greater than double the efficiency of the Intel UHD 630, which may be present in Apple’s 16-inch MacE-book Pro. Check out our article to get extra particulars on these outcomes.
Geekbench 5 multi-core outcomes
We ran a number of different benchmarks to gauge the brand new laptop computer’s efficiency. In this part of testing, we appeared on the new $1,799 MacE-book Pro and probably the most reasonably priced 13-inch MacE-book Pro priced at $1,299 with a 1.4GHz quad-core eighth-generation Core i5. In addition to 2 extra Thunderbolt 3/USB-C ports, the additional $500 you’d spend will get you an up-to-date processor, extra and sooner RAM, double the SSD storage, and extra strong graphics. That ought to add as much as higher efficiency. We needed a way of how far more efficiency you will get.
Cinebench R20 CPU
The Cinebench R20 benchmark is a CPU multi-thread benchmark that’s extra intensive than Geekbench 5’s Multi-Core CPU check. The 2.0GHz quad-core Core i5 is a bit over 16 p.c sooner than the 1.4GHz quad-core Core i5. Cinebench is a rendering check, so this result’s of specific curiosity for graphics professionals.
This is one other rendering check. Here we see a 12 p.c enchancment by the two.0GHz quad-core Core i5.
The Unigine Heaven and Valley benchmarks are real-time graphics assessments that concentrate on GPU efficiency. The newer MacE-book Pro was 16 p.c sooner in Heaven, and 20 p.c sooner in Valley.
Handbrake 4K to 1080p video encode
We took the 4K video Tears of Steel and transformed it utilizing the Fast 1080p30 preset in Handbrake. The 2.0GHz quad-core Core i5 is about 17 p.c sooner than the 1.4GHz quad-core Core i5.
We ran a number of different benchmarks assessments. You can take on the outcomes on the results page.
Rated at 58-watt hours, the battery within the $1,799 and $1,999 MacE-book Pros are a little bit bit smaller than the one within the lower-cost fashions, that are rated at 58.2-watt hours. Apple’s says the battery will final for “up to 10 hours wireless web, up to 10 hours Apple TV app movie playback.”
To check the battery life, we looped a video till the battery ran out. (We ought to be aware that on this scenario, as a substitute of setting the show brightness at 150 nits as we often do, we set the brightness slider in system preferences to about 90 p.c.) We examined each the brand new laptop computer and the $1,299 mannequin, and each laptops lasted simply over 8 hours. The new laptop computer had no downside making by means of an everyday workday, which concerned utilizing totally different enterprise apps, web entry, and the occasional viewing of an web video.
13.3-inch show, not 14 inches
Apple’s MacE-book Pro lineup noticed a major shift when the corporate launched the 16-inch MacE-book Pro, whose predecessor was a 15-inch mannequin. The larger show was achieved largely by decreasing the black bezel surrounding it. So naturally, when rumors concerning the successor to the 2019 13-inch MacE-book Pro began to seem, it included hypothesis that the identical bezel remedy could be used, creating a brand new 14-inch MacE-book Pro.
That didn’t occur. The show is identical as earlier than, with the identical thick black bezels. It’s nonetheless a 500-nit Retina show, with a 2560×1600 decision and help for the P3 wide color gamut and True Tone. And it nonetheless seems glorious, with even backlighting, sharp textual content, and good coloration.
But it’s disappointing that the 14-inch show didn’t occur. My private desire is for bigger screens, however moreover that, there’s an aesthetic with the bezel that didn’t actually catch my eye till the 16-inch MacE-book Pro was launched, and it’s emphasised much more if you happen to additionally use an iPhone that doesn’t have a Home button. The larger bezel seems dated, getting ready to wanting outdated, even. The design of the MacE-book Pro lineup has been in place for years, so wanting dated is an eventuality, however the decreased bezel on the 16-inch mannequin was sufficient to provide the design a little bit of a refreshed, fashionable look.
Obviously, Apple made a design determination to not change the bezel. We can solely speculate as to why. There have been rumors that Apple can be releasing a ARM-based Mac laptop computer, possibly even as soon as 2021, and maybe there’s some line of pondering that ties vital design adjustments to that. Or possibly there’s a extra sensible motive: possibly there are efficiency and warmth points with utilizing a bigger show on this small of a kind issue. At this level, it’s all purely conjecture.
Storage and different options
Apple additionally took this chance to regulate the usual SSD configurations of the 13-inch MacE-book Pro. Gone is the 128GB SSD configuration—thank goodness. Apple’s lineup now begins at 256GB and tops off at 1TB, with two 512GB fashions in-between. You can alter the quantity of storage, all the best way as much as 2TB, if you wish to pay extra.
The $1,299 and $1,499 fashions every have two Thunderbolt 3/USB-3 ports, whereas the $1,799 and $1,999 fashions have 4. If you haven’t already, you would possibly need to take into account shopping for a USB-C hub, particularly when you’ve got exterior units that use a USB-A connector. You can check our guide to see what adapters you would possibly want.
Apple launched a brand new 6-speaker system within the 16-inch MacE-book Pro that sounds fairly highly effective. The new 13-inch MacE-book Pro didn’t get the identical remedy, nevertheless. It nonetheless has the identical huge stereo speaker system as earlier than. And it sounds nice, nevertheless it’s clearly not in the identical league because the 16-inch mannequin.
In this time of sheltering in place and dealing remotely, new consideration has been introduced upon the FaceTime digicam in Apple’s laptops. It’s nonetheless a 720p digicam, and its picture high quality may be very disappointing, particularly while you evaluate it to the front-facing cameras on fashionable iPhones. It’s gone too lengthy with out being upgraded.
Apple customers have been ready for an improve to the 13-inch MacE-book Pro. The query right here is, is there sufficient within the new laptop computer to be definitely worth the funding? There’s definitely sufficient right here for professionals to think about, particularly if the MacE-book Pro you’re utilizing is greater than two years outdated. While the CPU enhance is noticeable, you’ll particularly like the rise in graphics efficiency.
For the overall client, if you happen to aren’t spending most of your time in professional apps that may make the most of the sooner graphics, and you’ve got a 13-inch MacE-book Pro that was purchased throughout the previous 4 years, you’re in all probability nice for now. However, there’s that new Magic Keyboard, and if you happen to’re completely uninterested in the butterfly keyboard, make the swap. Your fingers will thanks.
After testing the 16-inch MacE-book Pro final November and now this mannequin, one factor is evident to me: I’m prepared for some drastic adjustments to the MacE-book lineup. The rumors of Apple making an ARM-based laptop computer persist, and it could happen next year, beginning with a consumer-level machine. That would imply the MacE-book Pro would stay unchanged (at that second), however a brand new ARM-based laptop computer would present the place Apple is headed with the know-how and design. It might convey again some much-needed pleasure to Apple’s laptop computer lineup.